A member of Cruise Critic posted a photograph of some kind of device designed to prevent the insertion of a key card to unlock a passenger cabin door as well as to padlock the door handle from moving.

The passenger apparently sailed aboard an unidentified Royal Caribbean cruise ship last month, and invited the fellow Cruise Critic members to speculate on why this device was used.

Cruise Passenger Door Locking DeviceWas the device used to lock a passenger in the cabin? This seems very unlikely.

Or was the device used to keep the cabin secure for an investigation by law enforcement officials to search for drugs or to investigate a crime scene?

Aren’t these cruise ship doors designed such that there is a master lock or key which can prevent cleaning personnel out of the cabins following crimes?

What happened on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship at the end of last month?

Which cruise ship was this (some speculate the Liberty of the Seas or the Monarch of the Seas)?    

As a maritime lawyer who has represented many passengers whose family members have been sexually assaulted in their cabins, I have seen many incidents where the passenger cabins were meticulously cleaned when the crime scenes should have been preserved.

Is this a device designed to prevent that from occurring? 

I am curious why any cruise line would use this particular type of locking device?

Anyone have information to solve this riddle?  Please leave a comment below.


Photo credit:  Cruise Critic member SSPhone

  • Laura Despres

    Sadly this might be a possible reason

    FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A passenger aboard the Royal Caribbean ship Liberty of the Seas fell to her death early Monday morning, as the ship was just hours away from returning to Port Everglades. Investigators now believe the death was an accident.

    47-year-old Barbara Wood of Middleborough, Massachusetts was leaving a nightclub aboard the ship just before 2 a.m. when, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, she slipped on the steps and fell down the stairs, hitting her head.

    Investigators were told Wood was rushed to the ship’s infirmary, but was pronounced dead an hour later.

    The Coast Guard was notified, and investigators from the Broward Sheriff’s Office boarded the ship when it arrived at Port Everglades at6 5 a.m., according to BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright.

    The FBI was notified of the death, because it happened at sea outside of US waters, but BSO detectives and investigators handled the investigation, and have made a preliminary determination that Wood’s death was an accident.

  • William

    Having previously worked aboard cruise ships in Information Systems and managing the VingLock system aboard (above door lock system used by several cruise lines), you’ve got cabin stewards, supervisors, InfoSystems personnel, security personnel, others, etc, all of whom have various levels of access to these doors. Reprogramming the lock is actually a bit of a pain on the backend system but not impossible, however, even reprogrammed, it still allows access by any of several staff onboard with either the ability to reprogram the lock again or with metal master keys to just open up regardless of electronic access. The only sure-fire way to restrict access to the cabin for whatever reason required is with the above or similarly constructed hardware device.

  • ken brown

    can a person be locked inside a cabin by another person and not be able to get out or is there always an exit option from inside

  • ken brown

    can a person be locked inside a cabin by another person and not be able to get out or is there always an exit option from inside